Christianity and Plurality: The Big Questions / Edition 1

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This selection of source readings brings together diverse materials from the Christian tradition in order to help students think theologically about the implications of religious plurality.

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Meet the Author

Richard J. Plantinga is Professor of Religion and Theology at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction: Religious Pluralism Old and New.

Part I: Biblical Texts:.

A. Old Testament:.

2. Genesis 1-3 (creation and fall narratives).

3. Genesis 9 (Noahic covenant).

4. Genesis 11-12, 15 (Abrahamic calling and covenant).

5. Ruth 1-4 (a non-Israelite's adoption of the faith of theIsraelites).

6. Deuteronomy 5 (law of the covenant).

7. I Kings 18 (the encounter of God and the gods).

8. Ezra [selections] (building of walls literal and otherwise tokeep out non-Jews).

9. Esther 1-10 (a Jewess flourishes in a non-Jewish setting butrallies to the cause of her people).

10. Wisdom literature [selections] (human wisdom is esteemed,but the fear of Jahweh is the source of true wisdom).

11. Isaiah [selections] (judgement of the nations of the earthfollowed by promise).

12. Daniel 1-6 (a Jew is true to his faith in a foreign land andis blessed).

13. Amos 1-6 (judgement of the nations and of Israel).

14. Jonah 1-4 (God's concern with nations other thanIsrael).

15. Micah 4 (the peoples of the earth walk in the name of theirgods).

B. New Testament:.

16. The Gospels [selections] (life and ministry of Jesus).

17. Matthew 28 (the Great Commission).

18. John 1 (prologue concerning the logos).

19. John 3 (God's love for the world and sacrificial gift forthe world).

20. John 14 (intimate relations between Father, Son, and Spirit;bond of love between God and believing humanity).

21. Acts 14 (God's universal witness).

22. Acts 17 (Paul on the Areopagus).

23. Romans 1 (universal natural knowledge of God).

24. Romans 2-3, 8-11 (the question of election).

25. I Timothy 2 (divine desire for universal salvation).

26. I John 4 (God is love).

27. Revelation 22 (the close of the Biblical narrative on aneschatological note).

Part II: Patristic Texts: .

28. Justin Martyr, 'The First Apology'.

29. Tertullian, 'The Prescriptions Against the Heretics'.

30. Origen, 'De Principiis', Book I/6, Book III/6.

31. Augustine, 'On the Profit of Believing'.

32. Augustine, 'The City of God', Book VI, Book VIII/1.

33. Athanasian Creed.

Part III: Medieval Texts:.

34. Anselm, 'Proslogium'.

35. Thomas Aquinas, 'Summa Theologiae' I.1.1; I-II.109;I-II.112-114; II-II.2-10; II-II.81.

Part IV: Renaissance and Reformation Texts:.

36. Nicholas of Cusa, 'De Pace Fidei'.

37. John Calvin, 'Institutes of the Christian Religion', BookI/1-10, Book II/2/12-27.

38. The Creed of the Council of Trent.

Part V: Modern Texts:.

39. Herbert of Cherbury 'De Veritate' [selections].

40. Rene Descartes, 'Meditations on First Philosophy'[selections].

41. G. E. Lessing, 'Nathan the Wise' Act III, Scene 7.

42. Friedrich Schleiermacher, 'The Christian Faith' 3-4, 6-12,14.

43. Ernst Troeltsch, 'The Place of Christianity Among the WorldReligions'.

44. Karl Barth, 'The Revelation of God as the Abolition ofReligion'.

45. Hendrik Kraemer, 'An Attempt at an Answer'.

46. Joachim Wach, 'General Revelation and the Religions of theWorld'.

47. Vatican II, 'Declaration on the Relationship of the Churchto Non-Christian Religions'.

48. Karl Rahner, 'Christianity and the Non-ChristianReligions'.

49. Paul Tillich, 'Christianity Judging Itself In the Light ofIts Encounter With the World Religions'.

50. Paul Tillich, 'The Significance of the History of Religionsfor the Systematic Theologian'.

51. Stanley Samartha, 'Dialogue as a Continuing ChristianConcern'.

52. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, 'The Christian in a ReligiouslyPlural World'.

53. John Hick, 'Whatever Path Men Choose is Mine'.

54. John Hick, 'A Philosophy of Religious Pluralism'.

55. Lesslie Newbigin, 'The Gospel and the Religions'.

56. Peter Berger, 'God in a World of Gods'.

57. John Paul II, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope'[selections].

Further Reading.


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